Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
Spring has sprung and practice has begun. Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury begins his first spring as Texas Tech's new head coach.
STORIES OF THE DAY
SPRING PRACTICE BEGINS | It is a rite of spring. Spring football. It is a good thing and after what seems like every other college beginning, Texas Tech gets their start with their new head coach. It feels good to type that. Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury differs from Tuberville in that Tuberville wanted to start early so that if there were any injuries the player would have more time to recover. Kingsbury wanted to give the players more time with the new strength and conditioning head coach. I'm fine with either philosophy.
Now, Kingsbury gets his chance to start his program. It's his show. This is what he has been working for for his coaching career. It finally begins.
AN AGGRESSIVE DEFENSE | The focus today from the LAJ is on Co-DC and LB coach Mike Smith (I have to figure out a way to abbreviate this) and his passion for the game. I do think that this is going to be a common theme with Smith, Matt Wallerstedt, John Scott, Jr., Kevin Curtis and Trey Haverty. They are all passionate and excitable.
Now, you can expect something totally different:
"Our main thing is we’re going to get after people," said Smith, the former Coronado and Tech linebacker. "Eighty percent of college football’s the same. It’s an over (defensive line) front and they’re playing quarters (coverage) every snap. The old bend, don’t break stuff. Sit back and defend the offense.
"I don’t believe in that. Wally doesn’t believe in that, and where I come from, with Rex (Ryan) and those guys, you’ve got to get after people. I don’t care if you’re Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or the quarterback at Brownfield, they don’t like people in their face. They don’t like you coming after them. They don’t like you disguising."
The only caution is that almost every new defensive coordinator says that they are going to be aggressive and put a lot of pressure on the quarterback, but I think the difference is that Smith and Wallerstedt are going to try things differently. We're going to get into these defensive schemes during the offseason to explain what he means, but this is significant. Make sure and read the whole thing.
ROSTER RELEASED | The other big story from last night is that the spring roster was released and last year's prize recruit, DT Michael Starts, is not on the roster and his situation is not resolved as of right now. I don't really have a lot to add about some of the other things like position changes.
WALK-ON TIGHT END | Welcome to Seminole TE Hunter Weishuhn, who passed up a scholarship to Angelo St. to be a preferred walk-on at Texas Tech (24/7 Sports and Hudl). This is actually really good news as Weishuhn has very good size for being a true freshman at 6-7/235, he's already a pretty big player. He's also a pretty accomplished basketball player and his voice is already significantly deeper than mine. Here's Hunter:
"I was talking to a couple colleges about playing football," Weishuhn said. "I went to Texas Tech on my first visit and liked it a lot, then I went back on my second visit and I got to talk with all of the players and the coaches. I loved it. I was able to relate with all of them. All of the coaches are real young, it was just a fun atmosphere. They’re getting some good things going, and I decided this is what I’ve always wanted to do."
BELL AND MARQUEZ READY | The LAJ reports that both WR's Bradley Marquez and Javon Bell will return and are ready to go.
"They’ve been coming along," Kingsbury said. "I think both should be ready for spring ball, which is should be great, because that’s a lot of speed. They’re two talented players. We’re excited about those two guys getting back in the mix."
Kingsbury also mentions that there are only ten scholarship linemen available due to the injuries to Alfredo Morales and Matt Wilson. Hello opportunity.
QUARTERBACK COMPETITION | The LAJ also has a bit on the quarterback competition and all of the quarterbacks will get equal reps:
"I think it’ll be good," Kingsbury said of the competition. "I think until you get them out there in our system and see how they react to the way we actually do things, you never know who’s going to rise up and take the lead and take it over. We’ll have a competition with equal reps and see how it shakes out."